Librarians named among the best in UK at prestigious THE awards
June 3 2015
Librarians at Glyndŵr University have been named among the best in the UK after leading a project which allows students to borrow books from any university in Wales.
Staff at the Wrexham institution play a leading role on the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF) which has picked up an Outstanding Library Team Award in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2015.
The WHELF – comprising the National Library of Wales, all 10 Welsh higher education institutions and Welsh NHS Libraries – is a groundbreaking partnership to deliver a library management system for the whole country.
A single identity will eventually allow users to access and borrow material from every higher education library, while both physical and digital services are being transformed.
Among the innovations is the introduction of the latest generation library management service Alma, and the resource discovery service Primo, which will make it easier for users to search for resources.
These are currently being rolled out to all university libraries in Wales, allowing for seamless integration and interaction over shared resources.
Nicola Watkinson, Deputy University Librarian at the Edward Llwyd Centre - Glyndŵr University’s library - said: “It was fantastic to see the WHELF team collect the award after so much hard work to take library services to the next level at Welsh universities.
“The shared library management system is a real team effort and students will see significant improvements in the near future to both the number of resources they can access and how easy it is to find them.
“The biggest benefit of all of the new system is that students will be able to search the catalogue of every university library in Wales, which will add to their learning experience.”
Glyndŵr University has been running a shared resources scheme in North Wales for more than 20 years, allowing students to borrow books from both Bangor and Glyndwr University libraries.
Members of the public are also able to borrow resources from Glyndŵr University library as part of a new scheme in North Wales.
Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “Working collaboratively on a shared library management system will bring significant benefits for students, lecturers and library staff, along with financial savings.
“I am impressed that this excellent example of Welsh institutions working together has received international attention, and I’m pleased that the Welsh Government has been able to support this initiative.”
The Times Higher Education Awards are held every year to recognise the achievements of thousands of staff at Britain’s 100 plus higher education institutions.
The shared Library Management System will be operational across all 11 WHELF institutions and the Welsh NHS Libraries (via Cardiff University) by August 2016.